Coll.eo's homage to one of the greatest American athletes of the 20th century, Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987), consists of a new video piece and text. Here's an excerpt:
"Andy Warhol was an American professional tennis player. At the peak of his career, Warhol was ranked number 7 by the ATP. He won three Grand Slam singles titles (two at Wimbledon and one at the US Open). Andy Warhol was also notable as a gay professional athlete who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement.
After an unsuccessful career as a commercial illustrator and later as a painter, Warhol abandoned the visual arts to play tennis professionally, following the recommendation of his school teacher, Emile De Antonio. At age 11, he left his hometown of Pittsburgh for New York, where he spent most of his adult life. He deserted tennis academy at age 19, frustrated by the highly competitive environment. “I was thrown into the bloody meat pit one time too many. It was toxic and unhealthy”, he wrote. His schoolmates accused Warhol of being a hacker, a player whose strokes seem more accidental than intentional. Eventually, it became part of his inimitable style.
Labelled “pop” by sports commentators, Warhol’s approach was radically new for the times. During a 1974 match against Bjorg at Wimbledon, for instance, he had a ball boy replacing him for an entire set. Warhol, in turn, took the place of the ball boy, kneeling religiously near the net and running across the court to collect the ball. Asked by the referee if the move was polemical in nature, Warhol responded, “Um, no”. He was disqualified more than once for his unconventional conduct. Moreover, Warhol’s tended to repeat the same identical shots over and over again during a match. In an interview with Sports Illustrated contributor, Gene Swenson, Warhol declared: “The reason I'm playing this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do”. His peculiar style - which mimicked the operation of an assembly line - earned him the nickname “The Factory Man”." (Coll.eo, 203)
Submitted by Matteo Bittanti